In recent years, LeAnn Rimes has attracted almost as much attention for her eye-catching beachwear as for her singing. But in a new interview, she admits she had a long, difficult road to self-acceptance.

Rimes has struggled with severe psoriasis since she was just 2 years old, and it was particularly hard for her, dealing with that while spending so much of her life either performing in public, or being photographed. "I had to wear a lot of long pants or jeans and two or three pairs of pantyhose in the summertime. It was a nightmare," she tells Into the Gloss.

Rimes says having that condition under control has impacted her self-image in a way that most people couldn't understand.

"When they say beauty is way more than skin deep, it’s hard for people who have psoriasis to wrap their minds around that. Some people even think it’s contagious and want to stay away," she shares. "I’ve had it under control for about 10 years, so it’s been this liberating thing for me to be able to wear shorts and a bikini. People make so much fun of me and my bikinis, but I would walk around naked if I could because I was one big scab at one point!"

That has made her the object of ridicule from tabloids and certain celebrity gossip sites, but Rimes says she works as hard as she can to not let that determine how she conducts her life.

“I try not to let the paparazzi affect what I do or wear, but sometimes they do," she admits. "I think, as women, we’re constantly judged on everything we do and say and wear. I would be lying if I said I didn’t think about it, but at the same time there’s moments when I just don’t care. Of course, those are the times they catch me and say ‘Look at LeAnn! She looks so frumpy.’ Well, of course I do. I just rolled out of bed and am basically in my pajamas! I have to have those days, though. It’s just too intense not to."

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